Qatar blocks Bitcoin trading

Qatar, the richest country in the world, is said to have banned Bitcoin trading, according to Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) published on Dec 26.

Source: QFCRA

The QFCRA said in a statement that “Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time”. It specified that the ban includes “anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes”.

According to the official website, The Qatar Financial Centre is a global business and financial centre. Its onshore platform provides opportunities to expand to and from the Middle East. The center has attracted over 500 firms with $20 billion in combined total assets under management.

In 2018, The Central Bank of Qatar said that bitcoin and crypto trading in illegal in the country. “This cryptocurrency is highly volatile and can be used for financial crimes and electronic hacking as well as risk loss of value because there are no guarantors or assets,” it said at the time.

Simplecoin, a Netherlands-based cryptocurrency ‘mining pool’ announced they would be shutting down before the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), came into effect in all EU Member States on 10 January 2020.

Although some EU Member States, including Germany, Italy and the Netherlands are expected to transpose the 5AMLD into law by the 10 January deadline, others are resisting the directive. The UK has undertaken to implement the 5AMLD, despite Brexit.

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